The Chicago Cubs may be narrowing in on a replacement for dismissed manager Dale Sveum after interviewing San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria on Monday, as MLB.com reports. The Cubs will also have Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez interview this week for the position.
The Cubs previously interviewed both Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch for the job and had reportedly narrowed down their list of candidates to a top four or five.
Martinez could be a top choice for the Cubs if, as is rumored, they want someone who can motivate and improve their younger players. In an effort to keep payroll low, the Rays rely on younger players who are still under team control and tend to trade away veterans as they grow expensive. This means the team must keep a constant cycle of fresh talent coming in and performing well, something Tampa Bay has excelled at in making themselves perennial contenders atop the AL East.
Martinez also has a connection to the Cubs having played his first two and a half MLB seasons as an outfielder for the team from 1986-88 and also spent three years with the White Sox. When asked about interviewing with the Cubs, Martinez said, "I love Chicago. ... It would be tremendous."
Renteria has minor league managerial experience, having spent four years working in that position in the Padres farm system. He was promoted to the team's first base coach in 2008, then bench coach in 2011. People who know him have given excellent reviews on his coaching abilities, saying he is a very good teacher.
The Cubs are rumored to favor Acta and Hinch due to their experience managing a major league team, however. Acta formerly managed the Nationals and Indians while Hinch spent parts of two seasons at the helm of the Diamondbacks.
President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein says he would like to have a new manager selected by the time general manager meetings begin Nov. 11. With interviews rolling, a resolution to their search may come sooner than later.